The image adapted and reproduced below dates from the earliest days of the People of Colonial Albany Live Here Website. At that time, it was presented to help place the city of Albany in a regional context during the mid-eighteenth century. The image's actual history is is not so easily traced.
The detail shown below probably is from an engraving of a much larger map of the northern colonies made by Dr. John Mitchell, a Virginia-born, Scottish-educated physician who was well-connected in British aristocratic circles. Mitchell made at least two manuscript maps for the Earl of Halifax. One later version was engraved by British cartographer and engraver Thomas Kitchin. The engraving was published (printed and issued) by Andrew Millar in April 1755. This statement represents the extent of our knowledge of the history of this resource.
Although Mitchell was reknowned as an illustrator of the North American landscape, the work shown here is mostly called "The Kitchen Map." It conveys a sense of the huge geographical dimensions of Albany County at its largest - we say for convenience, from New England (or more exactly the west bank of the Connecticut River) to the Indian Country and from Kingston to Canada! At the same time, it helps visualize the fact that old Albany County was in the process of being "tamed and settled" by European and African-ancestry colonists who were becoming Americans. Consider the number of settlements shown on this resource. Population statistics for the county further document that growth.
However, unlike most illustrations produced by Europeans and by the British army in particular, this map shows virtually all of the actual settlements in the region and also labels some of the territories and Native American settlements that had already existed on the landscape area shown in this detail. Because Albany was central to and in the center of this large settlement area, we have included a number of regional maps on this website.
The area shown points out the principal settlements, waterways, roads, and also pertainent natural features such as "The Bar" - a sandbar in the Hudson that tested the skill of eighteenth century Hudson River navigators.
This map is one of a number of historical visualizations from that time made mostly by cartographers and engineers affiliated with the British army. The map made in 1771 by Guy Johnson had different purposes as did the engraving attributed to Claude Joseph Sauthier of a few years later. The so-called Sauthier map presented on this website invites further exploration.
Detail from a work entitled "A Map of the Eastern Part of the Province of New York; with Part of New Jersey. &c." It was first printed in the London Magazine in September 1756. We have digitized the image from an unattributed print copy in Colonial Albany Project Graphics Archive. Versions of this engraving have been printed in many books. The most likely "original" sources are probably among the following:
Thomas Kitchin: (1718-84) London-based cartographer and engraver of maps of England, greater Europe, and parts of the British Empire. At one time, the prolific Kitchin held the titles "Senior Hydrographer to His Majesty" and "Senior Engraver to His Royal Highness the Duke of York." Sometimes his name was spelled "Kitchen" and sometimes he worked with his son, Thomas Jr.
first posted: 4/18/00; recast 12/3/09